Planning Your Route – Maps, Apps and Weather

Its always worth planning your walking route before heading out so you can get an idea of how far the walk is, the terrain type and where your destination is going to be.  I use a combination of planning tools starting out with OS Explorer Maps (either physical maps or online).  I prefer the Explorer maps to the Landranger maps as Explorer Maps show more detail  and you can really get to know the area before heading out.  Look for your location then find green dashed lines nearby – these indicate pathways that you can follow.  Other information is given on these maps, like castles, forts and other points of interest that may be worth stopping at along the way.

I then like to work out the distance of my walk, so I know a rough time that it will take and how far away my destination is.  There are several ways to calculate the distance you will be walking – string following the path and then measured against the distance key at the bottom of the map is one of the easiest.  I tend to look at what distance is covered by each square on the map and then roughly estimate the distance by how many squares the chosen path covers.  I look at the gradient lines on the map (marked out in orange normally), the closer they are together the steeper the incline or decline, further spaced away lines mean the climb is gradual, you can then adjust your walk time accordingly.

Before I leave for my walk, I check the weather (I use either the BBC Weather App or Grumpy Cat Weather on my phone, both apps are brilliant for giving a breakdown of the weather and temperatures on an hourly basis.  Knowing what the weather is going to be like beforehand gives a pretty good indication of what to take with you, whether its a coat, jumper, sunglasses, water…  I know this is not strictly planning your route but its part and parcel of planning your journey and being prepared.

Even if you know the route and have walked it many times it is always worth checking out the weather and planning ahead.  As I have said in previous posts, it always helps to be prepared.  And it never hurts to examine maps of your area, you never know what new paths or cool things you may discover!

And now for yesterdays stats…did I hit 10,000 steps?

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Its an interesting one…I didn’t, but I did log 1 hr and 45 mins of housework.  My old band used to convert this into steps, which, my new band doesn’t.  I had a look on a website that converts other activities into steps (static activities where you still use energy to complete them..) the site is http://www.perdue.edu/walktothemoon/activities.html which uses the conversion of minutes spent doing the activity x number of steps per min from the chart.  Housework = 72 steps per min, I di housework for 105 mins which means 105 x 72 = 7560 steps for that activity.  Add this figure to the steps above, 4989 + 7560 = 12,549 . So, in reality I have hit my target for the day!  I don’t really know if I feel comfortable using this method, and probably wouldn’t use it all the time but in this instance it was useful.

I am aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day for the whole of september in order to raise money for Cancer Research, if you would like to sponsor me or donate, you can visit my Just Giving page where a few clicks will see your donation added to the cause.

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